My Cruiser friend Beth volunteered to write a guest post about her two week vacation on Emerald Isle while keeping her training up for her fall marathon.  You met Beth back in April when she was a guest writer and took you on her adventures running in the Paris Marathon with the following two posts:  Beth’s Paris Marathon Recap, Part 1 and Vive Les Coureurs! Paris Marathon Recap, Part 2.  Take it away, Beth…

My husband and I spent the first two weeks of September at the beach in beautiful Emerald Isle, North Carolina. Emerald Isle, or EI for short, is part of the Southern Outer Banks and is on a barrier island 30 miles long and ~½ mile wide.


This area is also fittingly called “the Crystal Coast”

EI is a wonderful, very family-oriented place.  There is much to see and do, including Cape Lookout Lighthouse, the towns of Beaufort, Morehead City and Swansboro, and old Fort Macon.  You can also just relax on the beach and watch the waves roll in – our favorite thing to do!


Wild horses live around Cape Lookout – this one looks stranded!

During our stay, I did several long runs as training for the Richmond Marathon.


Beginning my run on the path along Emerald Drive

The great thing about long runs is that it forces you to get up early (even on vacation) and not miss the beautiful sunrises!


EI has done a great job of building out a nice path for runners and bikers along the main road, Emerald Drive.  However, unlike our beloved 45-mile W&OD trail, it is only ~6 miles long.  So I had to be creative to get my 18-miler in without running on the main road too much!


Part of EI’s 6-mile trail

After running ~ 12 miles one day on the trail, I cut in to run close to the ocean along Ocean Drive.


I heard the ocean calling my name!

The best part of this run is I can take rest breaks along the way and view the ocean for as long as I like – you’re never in a hurry at the beach.


My favorite resting spot

I also passed the time on the long run by checking out beach house names – some are quite creative!  My favorite is “At Ease” – EI is a favorite place for retired Marines.


At Ease

We also had the good fortune of seeing the Virginia Tech Hokies play the East Carolina University Pirates in Greenville, which is not too far from EI.  The Pirates have quite a spirited fan base – we sat right in the middle of them!  It was a close one, but our beloved Hokies pulled out a win! (Debbie’s note:  I did not pay Beth extra to write about Hokie football.  We’re just lucky to have that in common, too!)


Virginia Tech vs East Carolina University

If you ever get the chance to visit the Outer Banks, I highly encourage it.  And bring your running shoes!

  • Questions:
  • If you have/or would like to have a beach house, what would you name it?
  • Do you run on the beach or the roads/trails?